Written by Richard Starkings
Art by Shaky Kane
For the second time now, Shaky Kane pops into the Elephantmen world to provide a very weird little story that, while building on the series's continuity, doesn't really add much to Richard Starkings's long-term storyline.
Hip Flask has been sent to investigate a building in downtown LA, and is surprised to find it full of strange green mushrooms. A woman appears, and begins puking up more of the same mushrooms, which freaks out Miki, Hip's on-again, off-again girlfriend. Hip notices that there is a connection between these mushrooms and the FCN virus, which wiped out most of the population of Europe during the Mappo days.
The story that follows is odd, as we meet a guy named Harry Hazard, who was on the beach when an FCN-laden meteorite struck, many issues ago. As he was buried up to his neck in sand, and had his head covered by a plastic bucket (don't ask), he was spared the worst effects of the virus, instead becoming blue and transparent, and able to grow mushrooms from his body at will.
As I said, it's a strange story, even for Elephantmen, a book which often serves as an outlet for whatever Starkings wishes to explore (last issue there was a beautifully illustrated Buddhist myth that ran for a number of pages). Kane is a singular artist, and it's very clear that Starkings and he just wanted to have some fun with this issue, giving us an odd look at the moments after a mushroom-fuelled orgy.
This unpredictability is one of the reasons I enjoy Elephantmen so much, even when I sometimes find Starkings's unconcerned approach to linearity frustrating. It's never a boring read. Also, it's reminded me that I need to get my hands on the second Bulletproof Coffin series, as that is another comic where Kane cuts loose.